‘I owe so much to him’: Jon Taylor on Doncaster Rovers boss Grant McCann

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“Horrendous” doesn’t begin to cut it when Jon Taylor reflects on the last two years of his life.

But, as he explains in his own words, it’s time to move forward – thanks in no small part to Grant McCann.

“Pre-season is going really good. I owe a big thank you to the gaffer for a few different reasons, that’s one of them.

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"I have managed to stay fit so far, which is massive for me. I haven’t had a proper pre-season for four years.

Doncaster Rovers' Jon Taylor.Doncaster Rovers' Jon Taylor.
Doncaster Rovers' Jon Taylor.

"When I first signed for Doncaster, I signed after the first game of the season. I’d done pre-season on my own.

"It was massive for me, mentally and physically, to get myself right.

"The gaffer has looked after me in terms of my workload, because he knows when I train I go all out. He’s had to pull me back.

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"But there’s been times when I’ve thought ‘I’m going to struggle to get through this training session’.

"The gaffer has pulled me and has been like ‘you can do it, you can get through it’. And I’ve got through it.

"He’s spoken to me afterwards and he’s been like ‘it’s mind over matter’.

"I feel more robust and I owe a lot to him.

"I don’t think I’ll ever forget what’s happened to me over the last two years, it’s been horrendous.

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"But it’s not about me, it’s about the team. I’m back to try and help the team and the club go forward.

"The gaffer coming back has lifted the whole club and it’s lifted me especially.

"The only way I can repay him is by giving everything I’ve got, every single day. I’ll do that, every day, for him.

"After I spoke to the gaffer my mentality changed completely. He’s helped me get back to the person I am.

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"The lads will tell you, I’m a totally different person around the changing room every day.

"I’m loving coming into work every day, I’m enjoying every single minute of it.

"For the last two years I haven’t enjoyed coming into training.

"That’s totally changed, I’m getting back to myself as a person, which is going to help me get back – and better than what I was – as a player.

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"I played with the gaffer when I first went to Peterborough, then he was the assistant manager and caretaker.

"When he was the caretaker manager for two games, I scored four goals.

"I saw what he said about me, I appreciated it. He’s got no reason to say that, he doesn’t need to say or do anything for me.

"What he has done for me, I’ll never forget. I was speaking to my family about it last weekend and saying ‘I owe so much to him’.

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"Not even football, he’s helped me as a person. He won’t even know he’s done it, to be honest.

"Being around the lads every single day, I’ve felt part of the team.

"The last two years, I’ve felt worthless. I’ve felt helpless. I couldn’t help at all.

"I want to get back playing, play as many games as I can, and get this football club back in League One.

"I’ll give it everything I’ve got, every single day, to try and make that happen.”